In Hinduism, naman, similar to bowing down our attitude and greeting someone standing in front of us. It is like namaste from the soul, is believed to encompass within itself the fundamental nature of a person. It is also believed that the name of a person also affects the character of the bearer of that name. As such, particular care is taken to choose a name, and there takes place a naming ceremony after sixth, twelfth, or on a day depending on the local tradition. Generally, the choice of names of Hindus depends on the astrological sign under which the child was born. The name for a boy is after a god or a popular hero. The name of a girl is after the name of a goddess or a flower or a precious stone. Sometimes, when a person gets initiated into a religious order, the Guru gives the person another name, and sometimes such a name is whispered by the Guru in the ear of the disciple.
A change of social status also requires bestowing a new name on that particular person. Such a change may happen on account of a number of changes, including entering a religious order and accession to the throne. The emperor Ashoka took the name of Priyadarshi (that is, beloved of the gods). A number of gods and goddesses of Hindus have several names, running into hundreds of names. Thus, Vishnu has 1000 names and Shiva has 1008 names. These names are listed in the sahasranama.
In the Torah
The Middle Eastern family name, Naman, is first reported in the Old Testament (2 Kings 5:1-19). The story describes Naman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, which is, in modern times, General of the Syrian Army, second in command to the King. In modern times, there are extended families of Namans in and from Lebanon (Christian), Palestine (Jewish), Iraq (Muslim), and possibly southern Iran. The known Naman families have branches in the United States. There is no known relationship between the Naman family name and the Hindu word.
- Indian name
- Naaman The name has an obvious Semitic meaning, "elephant" – as do related names Naomi, Noam, hathi – and there is no need of an Indic etymology.
- Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola